House Bill 501: Statute of Repose Amendment
Section 95.11(3)(c), Florida Statutes determines the time period within which a construction-related claim can be brought. Most commonly, this statute refers to a latent defect claim. A latent defect is a flaw that is not discoverable through a thorough inspection of the real property. For further clarification on what constitutes a latent defect, consult with a Clearwater contractor lawyer.
What is it?
House Bill 501 is an amendment to the current statute on how long a claim can be made in Florida regarding a latent defect in either the design, planning or construction of a real property and its improvements. The current repose limit is 10 years to submit a claim based on one of the following:
- The date the owner takes actual possession
- The issuance date of certification of occupancy
- The date the construction is abandon, if not completed
- The date the contract between the engineer, architect or contractor and the employer is completed or terminated
The claim is based on whichever of the events occurred last.
What it Changes
Based on the previous limitation decrease in 2006, at which time the repose limitation was decreased from 15 years to 10 years, House Bill 501 seeks to further shorten the repose limit to a period of 7 years. As before, the limit would apply to whichever aforementioned condition occurred last. If this bill were to be passed, the change would become effective on July 1, 2015 and would apply to any action that occurs on or after that date, no matter when the cause of action occurred.
In order to determine how the changes to the Florida Repose Statute might affect any claims you are filing or have been filed against you, contact a Clearwater contractor attorney at Cotney Construction Law. We are fully knowledgeable in the changes to the Statute of Repose and the proper procedures for creating or defending against a claim.